When I told Nancy that I had never ridden a horse, she decided to put me on one. The volunteers were so excited for me; they scurried about, grabbed a riding helmet and prepared a horse. They picked Bob, a Tennessee Walking Horse- and oh my, is he beautiful! Bob used to be a show horse. His owner, Joe London, a professional horse trainer, loans Bob to Dream Catchers for therapeutic riding lessons.
Jean Greene, a certified instructor, taught me some basics about posture and how to tell Bob where to go and what to do. Bob definitely knew the drill. While we were walking around the outdoor ring, Jean told me that in order to get Bob to stop, I need to pull back on the reigns and say “whoa” but when Jean said “whoa” in her instructions, Bob stopped. She wasn’t even talking to you Bob! This is why the trainers have to get creative and resort to a count off, 1-2-3, and then I would give the command, “whoa”. This way Bob was following my instructions and not Jean’s- although I’m pretty sure Bob has caught onto the 1-2-3 prompt.